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The List: Best feuds
From the Page 2 mailbag
1. Reggie Miller vs. Spike Lee (22 letters)
Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
2. Al Davis vs. Pete Rozelle or Mike Shanahan or Marcus Allen or the NFL (22 letters)
The Pete Rozelle-Al Davis feud has to be the best of all-time because it still goes on today, even though Pete Rozelle is gone. The Silver and Black (The Evil Empire versus The Federation) out to rub more salt in the wounds of the NFL. This is even better than the wild imagination of any WWF or WCW script writer.
My choice would have to be the long, ugly feud between Al Davis and Marcus Allen. What makes it so bad is that very few people outside football even know about it or the sordid details. This feud is the reason why Allen will enter the Hall of Fame as a Chief.
3. Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier (18 letters)
Florham Park, N.J.
Unlike the others mentioned, this feud was settled in the arena, man against man. The others were hashed out in the press, in board rooms or court rooms. This was settled in the ring, with devastating results, however.
4. Roger Clemens vs. Mike Piazza (18 letters)
After the head-hunting incident, you knew Piazza was going to get revenge. And Game 2 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium was priceless.
5. Pete Rose vs. Bud Selig (18 letters)
Pete should be in the Hall of Fame and the only one who doesn't want him in there is the commissioner. Go Pete, someday you'll get your space in Cooperstown.
As an owner of a ridiculously underachieving franchise, Bud Selig would probably have sold his daughter to have Pete Rose manage that team. Now in the commissioner's post, he can't see through the remnants of Bart Giamatti's beard to let Rose rest in the hall.
Royal Palm Beach, Fla.
6. John Rocker vs. New York City (17 letters)
I live in New York and every single New Yorker hates him. The fact that he is on the Atlanta Braves doesn't help either.
7. Billy Martin vs Steinbrenner or Reggie Jackson (17 letters -- the Boss 12. Vs. Reggie 5)
How many people do you know were hired for the same job five times?
My vote is for Billy Martin against the rest of the world. Who can ever forget the "Game of the Week" incident in Fenway Park when Billy and Reggie Jackson almost duked it out in the dugout? Not to mention Billy's famous almost-last words "One's a born liar, and the other's convicted," when he dissed Reggie and his boss, George Steinbrenner. Or when Billy punched out the marshmallow salesman? I miss Billy.
8. Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees (17 letters)
The Beantown Boys vs. Bronx Bombers. This is baseball's classic rivalry and most bitter blood feud. Walk into any bar in either town, voice support for the opposing team and pray God saves you because no one else will. When the Red Sox and Yankees play, nothing else matters. Each win and loss is a microcosm of the season itself and indicative of the fortunes of both teams. No one loses when the Sox play the Yankees. The players, the owners, and most importantly the fans all get fired up. This is one of baseball's oldest, most bitter, and best feuds. Thankfully, the league finally did something right and instituted the unbalanced schedule. Eighteen games vs. the most-hated Yankees. Pedro vs Clemens. Nomar vs Jeter. Boston vs. New York. Baseball heaven.
The Red Sox vs the Yankees, no matter what year and who is on the team, the blood boils for the fans and that has to rub off on the players.
9. Art Modell vs. Cleveland (16 letters)
One of the greatest sports towns in the world, home to one of the proudest traditions in all of sports. Shafted by a nasty turncoat looking for a quick buck. Don't come back to Cleveland anytime soon, Art. For your own sake.
What other feud involves more individuals, more passionate hatred or more of what is totally wrong about professional sports?
10. Bobby Clarke vs. Eric Lindros (15 letters)
Belle Vernon, Pa.
My choice for best feud (and in many ways the worst) in sports, is that between Mike Tyson's boxing talent, and his short circuiting/synapse-misfiring head. Rarely has the world seen a talent the likes of Tyson. Equally rare are the numerous meltdowns Tyson has brought on himself. Tyson, however, has done his best to make them seem second-nature. Never have I been so thoroughly mesmerized by a fighter as I was by the young Tyson, who bashed and battered his way through opponents. That Tyson was a great for the ages. He had a rare blend of speed, power, and will. Unfortunately the other side of Tyson was equally powerful. That Tyson bullied and bashed and bit when he didn't get his way. That side of Tyson eventually consumed most of the talented fighter we once idolized. I can only hope that Mike Tyson the man can finally find the peace that he has seemingly lacked, and that we can again remember Mike Tyson the fighter as a great former champ and possible future contender.
Don King's Hair vs. gravity: Sure, gravity has its own laws, but then Don has always been above the law, as is his hair. But then again, his hair is above everything.
Probability vs. Chicago Cubs: Pick any major-league team and find me someone who would bet on them to lose for the next 93 years.
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